Larry Canning presents golf’s most anticipated annual awards event – The Larry’s. The 2021 Larry’s awards are full of shocks, surprises, outpourings of joy, many tears… and controversy aplenty.
Good Evening and welcome to The Larry’s for 2021. A year like no other… well, except for last year. Tonight we will be celebrating some wonderful, uplifting, inspiring achievements from people in all facets of our glorious game. And calling out a couple of dropkicks.
The first Larry is for “My God, I did not see that coming”. The nominations are –
Phil Mickelson for his triumph in the US PGA Championship. Philby winning this tournament was about as likely as Jim Nantz streaking down the 1st fairway at Augusta screaming “I hate this place!” I know that Lefty is one of the greatest of all time but here’s a list of the 51 year-old’s previous 10 finishes leading up to that week – 55th, cut, 53rd, cut, 35th, 25th, cut, 21st, cut, 69th.
I knew Greg Norman had pretty much everything an Aussie golfer would ever wanted. Fearless power, private planes, Ferraris, US Presidents as his best mates; but I always held a secret hope there was something I had that he didn’t. That was until I spotted the photo of him strolling along his beach with his dog. I did not see that coming. I think the dog was a little shocked as well.
The third nominee and winner is Angel Cabrera who has gone from Presidents Cup hero and dual Major Champion to Resident Teaching Pro at Cordoba Prison, in Argentina. Apparently Cabrera’s new pupils can’t get enough of his short game tips on how to get it up and down and escape with a par.
The next “Larry” is and oldie but a goodie, awarded to the bawl your eyes out episode for the 2021.
As was the case with Phil, you just can’t keep a true champion down so it’s no surprise three-time winner Steve Stricker is again nominated. This time Stevie wasn’t being handed a trophy or even playing, he was just making a “Welcome to the Ryder Cup speech”. The second he mentioned his wife and kids the flood gates opened. I’d love to see him reading a Christmas card.
Rory McIlroy made the whole world cry with his interview after the Ryder Cup. I spoke to Wayne ‘Radar’ Riley who I consider a pretty tough, self-confident rooster. Radar was on course commentating at the time when Rory and he had a hug and a cry. Then I did as well!
The winner of the “Larry” is actually a tie between Sky Sports commentator Tim Barter and Richard Bland. I never thought I’d see both the interviewee and interviewer both tearing up. Turns out Tim Barter has been the 48 year-old Bland’s coach for the past 20 years. I hope it wasn’t just about the long time coming commission??
This next “Larry” is for someone in a position to be a Goose and goes right ahead. There are two nominations –
Brooks Keopka is clearly an intimidating individual and he knows it. The way he spoke to not only one but two officials at the Ryder Cup was bad enough but to then smash his pill onto the green without striking the obstruction he insisted would prevent him doing so, made him look a 4 time major winning Goose.
It can’t be easy being interviewed during a tournament round but to finally finish the chat, arrive to your ball then be given a slow play warning by an overzealous official is crap! Graeme McDowell had every right to give that official a smack in the chops warning but chose instead to react as the professional he always is. “Congratulations ‘Over Zealous Rules Guy’ and I hope you have done enough to finally pass the exam to become an Olympic Games Marathon Walking Judge.
Finally readers – ‘The Larry’s’ wouldn’t be complete without awarding the player with the funkiest name –
Sweet swinging Robert Rock, who has become a very respected swing coach, was a little upset with a journo when asked why he hadn’t played as well this year. “Because I have a bunch of young players relying on me for their careers,” replied a stone-faced Rock.
Another player who has had something of a disappointing year was former US Open Champion, Jeongeun Lee6. She was heard saying to a friend – “Sometimes I felt like I was just making up the numbers”.
You have to admire the commitment and dedication it takes for a young tour player to make a successful career so it was great to hear this response from Portugal’s newest star. “I’m finally seeing some encouraging results after going on a total fitness regime. Giving up smoking was easily the most difficult aspect though” said Miguel Gasper.
And The Larry goes to – After breaking through for his first win in 8 years on the Japan PGA Tour Ryosuke Kinoshita, with the help of an interpreter, had this to say – “I’m relieved to have finally learnt how to win after many times of being in contention only to… well… Kinoshita my pants”.
Thankyou readers for reading my stuff during 2021. In the words of a former world champion in smashing some poor blokes’ noses, “I Luv Yas All”, and please have a very Merry Christmas.